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Reflecting on Mixed Methods Research

Reflecting on Mixed Methods of Research

Consider how qualitative and quantitative research methods complement one another, and consider the
role of mixed methods designs. Would it ever be viable to consider only quantitative or only qualitative
methods for a research study? How can mixed methods vs. single (qual-quan) methods extend our
understanding of a research problem? Why would it be important for a researcher to be conversant in
both quantitative and qualitative methods? How do your thoughts on these questions relate to your


worldview? What strategies might you use to help you become more comfortable with or develop further
expertise in mixed methods research�as a consumer and/or producer of research?

The judicial mix of both qualitative and quantitative methods of research is known as the
mixed methods of research. This criterion allows the researcher to blend quantitative and
qualitative methodologies and tools in solving research problem questions (Hesse-Biber, 2010).
The two main approaches to research (quantitative approach and qualitative approach)
complement each other in their application. While the quantitative approach involves the
collection and use of quantitative/numerical data in rigorous formal and rigid quantitative
analysis, qualitative methods focus on the use of subjective assessment of behaviors, opinion and
attitudes (Hesse-Biber, 2010). This kind of Research is a function of the researcher’s insights and
impressions. The results are non-numerical/qualitative and cannot be used in rigorous
quantitative analysis. However, the content/textual data is the basis of quantitative research. For
example, someone can observe that milk in a baker boils (qualitative data) while another person
takes the initiative and goes further to record that the water boils in the baker at 100 degrees
Celsius temperature (quantitative data).
According to Tashakkori and Teddlie (2010), mixed design/methods of research provide
a lot of insight and input in the world of research. Mixed approach enables the analysis of both
numerical and non-numerical attributes of a research problem. This methodology provides a


better understanding and integration of research problems than either of the two approaches used
independently. The viability of using either qualitative or quantitative method alone in resolving
research questions is compromised. The Two approaches when used separately have a lot of
latent weaknesses that can only be overcome by the mixed approach.
The mixed approach unlike the single (quan- qual) approaches enriches our knowledge
and understanding on the research question. Knowledge on the research problem is extented
because the researcher can view the research question from different angles and dimensions. This
wide spectrum enables clarification of unexpected findings and eliminate potential contradictions
in the model/research hence a broader understanding.
To carry out and effective mixed design/methods research, the research needs to be very
conversant with both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. A background on the two
approaches will ensure that the researcher minimizes some of the inherent weaknesses of the
methodologies as he aims at maximizing the strengths of the mixed approach ( Tashakkori &
Teddlie, 2010).
My thoughts on the question and application of mixed methods in modern research are
very categorical. I strongly admire and support its application in research. As a researcher, I
would advocate for the application of sequential explanatory design strategies in my research
endeavors. This strategy will enable me to collect and examine/analyze quantitative data first
.Collection and analysis of non-numerical data would then follow suit. This strategy is all about
giving qualitative data an upper-hand while the findings and integration of the research model
are done in the interpretation phase.


Hesse-Biber, S. N. (2010). Mixed methods research: Merging theory with practice. New York:
Guilford Press.
Tashakkori, A., & Teddlie, C. (2010). Sage handbook of mixed methods in social & behavioral
research. Los Angeles, Calif: SAGE Publications.

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